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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Murderous beast faces rehab

Murderous beast faces rehab

A team of experts has travelled to Kampong Speu province’s Mon village in the hopes of rehabilitating an elephant called Sambo who has been terrorising local residents since stomping his owner to death more than a week ago.

Village chief Eth Mao said residents were afraid to confront Sambo, who has killed at least three times in the past three years and has been running wild on a nearby mountainside since killing his owner on December 3. Sambo is also accused of demolishing about two hectares of rice from residents’ fields.

“That elephant has killed three people including its owner,” Eth Mao said. “Villagers are afraid and they do not dare to get close to it and sometimes it has chased people who are looking after cows on the mountainside.”

Khun Diyon, director of an elephant conservation organisation, said he was waiting for permission from local authorities and the Forestry Administration to relocate Sambo to Mondulkiri. He said he hoped to rehabilitate the elephant, noting that it would likely be a slow process.

“Sambo has serious mental illness. We need a very long time to educate him,” he said. “Sambo’s character is still wild but experts can converse in animal language with him and he starts to listen to us … but he is still obstinate.”...read the full story in tomorrow’s Phnom Penh Post or see the updated story online from 3PM UTC/GMT +7 hours.

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